Belfast Telegraph

Japan's biggest bank fined after misleading watchdogs on US action

The Bank of England has dished out two fines after Japan's biggest bank failed to be "open and cooperative" about enforcement action from US authorities.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has fined The Bank Of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) £17.85 million and its broker arm MUFG Securities EMEA (MUS) £8.92 million.

It said BTMU had misled regulators in November 2014 when it was hit with a 315 million US dollar (£250 million) penalty by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) for pressuring a consultant to water down a supposedly objective report on its dealings with sanctioned countries.

The BTMU failed to tell the PRA about the fine until after the DFS made a public announcement.

Sam Woods, chief executive of the PRA, said: "We expect all firms to be open and straightforward in their dealings with the PRA.

"Where firms fall short of this expectation, we will enforce it."

The PRA said the Japanese bank's "inadequate system and controls for the communication of relevant information" was a factor in its failure to be open with the watchdog.

The enforcement action also had "implications" for the chair of MUS during the period, the watchdog said.

BTMU would have been fined £25.5 million and £12.75 million respectively, but was handed a 30% discount for agreeing an early settlement.

In a statement, BTMU and MUFG Securities EMEA said they had fully cooperated with the PRA investigation and regretted the "historic breaches".

" MUFG has taken decisive action to improve its information controls and intra-group communication on regulatory matters. MUFG is committed to conducting business with the highest levels of integrity and regulatory compliance and to continuing to improve its policies and procedures."